We have all met them, haven’t we? The slackers, the workaholics, the time wasters, the slow workers, the overambitious ones and the brown nosers. In short, these are the types of colleagues we wish we’d never had, yet they are always around. A recent Gallup poll showed that in general, employees tend to be unhappy, with as many as 70% hating their jobs. You can be sure that many of those will fit the descriptions below or they will be the cause of much of the discontent in the workplace. Here are the 10 types of employees who are undoubtedly hated universally. If one of these rings a bell with you or seems like you, it may be time to change your working style!
1. The ones who always miss the deadline
He or she may be the one who tells you quite calmly that she has forgotten all about that task and it has not even been done yet. When this is combined with a ‘no big deal’ attitude, then this is even more irritating. Whether you are a fellow team member or a manager, this can be infuriating – especially if it becomes an ingrained habit. Even worse are the excuses offered as to why this has happened.
The manager will have to decide whether the employee can be helped. There may be weaknesses in the planning stages, which skew the timing. This may need micromanaging for a short time to see what exactly is going on.
There is also the issue of the worker trying to make a good impression and offering to do the task in the first place. This is usually because they are unaware of their limitations and they think that trying to gain brownie points is what counts.
2. The perfectionists who make life unbearable for everyone else
The problem with these people is that they often project their own fear of failure onto their co-workers and they become overcritical. They pounce on every little mistake. If they are in any managerial role, they often find it impossible to delegate. They always think they are the only ones who can get the job done properly. These perfectionists make teamwork almost impossible. If they spent more time in aiming for 80% perfect rather than 100%, then life would be easier for everybody. This would help to focus on the really important issues.
3. The time wasters
There are lots of ways you can waste time at work, if you are so inclined. People take extra long coffee breaks, for example. I once had a colleague who was always dashing out to the bank – we all wondered how many millions she had stashed away! Then there are all the other things that compete for their attention. Cigarette breaks, going out to do some shopping, chatting to colleagues and keeping up with office politics. Little work gets completed but they do not seem to care. Just look at the statistics from the UK. Up to 5 work days are wasted a year in just chatting to colleagues.
4. The Internet surfers
These are not just the normal time wasters mentioned above because they actually appearto be working, rather than wandering around doing nothing! They are at their desk but they specialize only in the internet. It makes them feel terribly important and up to date! How can you miss sending a Tweet or catching up on Facebook? Online shopping is another favorite. Did you know that almost two thirds of workers (64%) surf the Internet every day at work and the sites they are visiting have nothing to do with their job? That means that deadlines are missed and work is left undone.
5. The workaholics
These people are often either using work as cover for deeply rooted psychological and social problems or they are simply driven by blind ambition. It is really an addiction to work. The problem is that there is a deeply rooted conviction that working extra long hours is a virtue rather than a vice. This will take a long time to eradicate. It takes great determination and not a little courage to go home at 5pm, as this working mother reports here.
6. The negative workers
These people are the first to point out obstacles, problems, and pessimistic forecasts. This affects the atmosphere for everybody and negativity can and does get people down. These people are usually first class whiners and always complaining. The problem is that this attitude can be contagious and affects general morale unless it is nipped in the bud. Finding out what is really causing the negativity is an essential step in dealing with this, if you are a manager or team leader. You will definitely need active listening skills!
7. The gossipers
Gossipers create fear, resentment, worry and negativity. They thrive on office politics. It can be destructive, although sometimes it may be used humorously. If you are a manager, you may have to confront the perpetrators and make them aware that their activities are causing problems and not helping staff morale at all. Managers have to be very careful that they ‘walk the talk’ and not indulge in any office gossip themselves. This is important if they are to change the current atmosphere, and it takes both time and effort.
8. The loudmouths
Usually, these people are the ones who have not yet discovered their own volume control. Everybody around them suffers as conversations are conducted at stereophonic volume. This usually goes hand in hand with being a show off so they are impossible to ignore. Secretly, everybody hates them, but they are usually oblivious to all this.
9. The slobs
I remember a teaching colleague of mine whose desk consisted of a mountain of papers. He did go on to become a successful architect but at the time, it made life difficult for both students and colleagues. Being a slob really can be very off putting – especially when it comes to matters of personal hygiene, eating and drinking habits and not to mention tidying up papers. If their cubicle is a hazard, management will notice and their chances of promotion and getting raises may end up in the rubbish bin too!
10. The ignorant ones who know nothing about e-mail etiquette
Incredible to think that there are still people out there who resort to shouting online by using the caps lock all the time when they send or reply to an e-mail! Have they been living under a rock? It would appear so, but there are lots of things to watch out for to make sure that you yourself are not guilty. Some people insist on marking e-mails a top priority when they are merely standard messages. This tends to get boring and very soon, colleagues switch off and will not even read them.
They also tend to copy everybody in when there are actually a few people actively concerned with the issue. Very often, a phone call is much more effective if only one or two people are actually involved. You can find a full list of the standard netiquette rules here.
Which working styles tend to irritate you and how have you dealt with them? Let us know in the comments.
Featured photo credit: Facebook on the computer/English 106 via flickr.com